Monday, May 19, 2014


When you get a call asking you to go some place you never have ayn idea how bad it is until you get there.  David, Edward, Michael and myself were called on Wednesday and asked if we would go to the flood in Penn Yan, New York.  Of course we said we would go.

You can turn them down if it's not a good time for you and they will go to the next people on the list.  Knowing that we have moved into our new house, recently adopted Katie and had my Grandparents living with us, they hadn't asked us in a while.  Everyone is asked to do service.  It may be going to a place like we did, helping on someone's farm, taking care of the sick, cooking meals for someone, etc.  We are to help others.

I called my parents to take care of David Jr, Susan, Katie and to keep an eye on Grandmother Olive and Grandfather Albert.  Some of our Old Order Mennonites would do our chores on the farm.  We called Elmer and asked him if he would come and take care of any calls my parents might get about slaughtering animals.  My parents could take care of giving or taking meat for the freezers, but my Father has had health problems and would not be the best to slaughter the meat.  Elmer agreed.  So I gave my parents Elmer's Fire Department cell phone number.

Each of us had a suitcase when the driver came to pick us up.  All the people in the van were going to Penn Yan.  We discussed what we thought it would be like.  We prayed.  Nothing is ever what you think it is going to be.  It took us longer to get there because some of the roads going into Penn Yan were unusable as they had been flooded out.

We came into where the Red Cross had set up.  Each of us was assigned a place to stay with.  Our place to stay was with an Old Order Mennonite couple.  The drivers would take our luggage where we were staying and we were assigned jobs.  The first day, I was sent to a home that had been flooded to help the people save what they could and work with others in clearing the mud out.  David went with a group to help build the part of a driveway where it met the road that had been washed out.  Michael and Edward went with another group to help save what they could and clean out one of the business that had been flooded.

Each day we worked at some place helping.  Houses had been flooded so bad people couldn't live in them.  Some stores were destroyed.  Penn Yan has a camp called Camp Good Days for children with cancer. It is a special camp where children can go and enjoy themselves.  That is very badly damaged.

The rain did not help either.  We would just get something done and it would rain at night and we had to do it all over again.  People who couldn't stay in their homes stayed where the Red Cross had set up at one of the schools.  Most of the people did not have flood insurance.  Although Old Order Mennonites don't believe in such, Englishers do.

The people we stayed with were so kind to us. They were older than us - about my parents age. They didn't have electric in their home, but they did have running water.  They also had two bathrooms, one upstairs and one down.  When we got there, we had mud all over us, but they turned both their bathrooms over to us.  After we bathed, dinner was on the table.  The lady told us  to put the dirty clothes in a plastic bag.  We would put on different clothes the next day.  When we got back to their house the clothes we wore the previous day were all washed, pressed and hanging in out rooms.  In the morning we would all pray together and in the evening before bed.  They also enjoyed hearing how Edward and Michael came into our family.

We worked Wednesday thru Friday.  More people came in Saturday morning and we returned home.  We didn't really want to go.  There is so much more work to do.   All sorts of people worked there: college students, people that lived there, people came in from other places - even people who couldn't get into their house went to help someone else.  Still a lot of work has to be done.

Everyone was glad to see us when we got home.  Elmer said he thought a post from us would be more important this week than one of his.

We still think and pray for the people in Penn Yan.  There is a lot of work to do.

Be With God,

The picture above is one of just some of the damage in Penn Yan.




Tom said...

Good morning Marilyn,
What a mess! 5 inches of rain in 4 hours on the steep hills of Penn Yan can only lead to a disaster.
The sun is out, enjoy the day. Tom The Backroads Traveller

New York State Of Mind said...

Good Morning Tom,

From what Jean said, it is really a mess there. What is really a miracle is that no one was killed .

Hope the sun stays out for a while.

Have a good week,

Countryside Reflections said...

It's so nice to hear that there is a network in place among the Old Order Mennonites to help where it is needed. To see the destruction is so sad. My friend who lives in Penn Yan is far enough out of town and lives up on a hill, that she wasn't affected by the water. She said that it was the worst and longest thunder storm that she has ever seen.

Thank you Jean for letting us know about the terrible situation and how you and your family helped those in need.


New York State Of Mind said...

Good Morning Doreen,

So glad that your friend lives far enough out of town that she didn't get any damage. The people that Jean, David and boys stayed with was where the water didn't damage their place either. I was thinking of going down to take pictures, but Jean talked me out of it saying it was too dangerous.

It is great that the Amish, Mennonites and other groups go out to help in times like that.


Vickie said...

I truly enjoyed reading of the wonderful, good work David and Jean and family and everyone did. God bless them.

New York State Of Mind said...

Hello Vickie,
I will see that Jean and her family get this message.

How is Mabel doing?

Give Mabel and Henry a hug from us.

Marilyn and Pierre